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One for all and all for one - the women's network ALICE

Get out of your comfort zone, break through the glass ceiling and take your career into your own hands. ALICE is for Roche female employees not only a platform for mutual exchange, but also the support and backing they need to courageously overcome outdated prejudices - be they external or perhaps even their own.

Authentic - Leading - Innovative - Competent - Engaged

Julia Tolle is a member of ALICE and part of the largest women's network at Roche in Germany. As head of maintenance at the Hightech Campus Mannheim, she is familiar with the challenges that women in leadership positions can face. In addition, as a mother of two, she knows how difficult it is to combine career and family. ALICE not only offers her support and the opportunity to exchange ideas with other women in similar situations, but also enables Julia to be a role model herself and to pass on her experiences.

The ALICE women's main goal is to act as an active network connecting female employees with each other, providing contacts and partners and supporting each other in professional development and career planning. At events and lectures, topics such as equality or inequality between men and women play a role, but general points on possible leadership styles or preparation for a new position in the company are also part of the offer. "So-called Lean-In-Circles offer us the opportunity to deepen certain topics, also of a private nature, in small groups in a trusting atmosphere and to build real, long-term connections," Julia tells us.

From student to master & why role models are so important

Julia has been working at Roche for four years and is fully immersed in her job. As her department realigns, it is mainly communication skills and the ability to coach and motivate that are required of her as a department head. "I'm glad that my boss recognises these qualities in me and then I'm happy to go full steam ahead during the week, even if it's a bit late in the evening." Nevertheless, she would not describe herself as a so-called "career woman": "With successful colleagues, no one talks about 'career men' and for me, too, professional and family life or motherhood and a full-time job are not mutually exclusive."

Following her parents' example, Julia also wants to set an example for her daughter that a woman does not have to choose between career and family. The biology graduate uses her self-confidence not only for her own career, but also in the ALICE network as a mentor and role model to serve as a possible example for female colleagues.

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Roche generally offers very good opportunities for career development. The resources are there and also a great network like ALICE. But we as women have to make use of them.

Because equality only works if everyone participates

ALICE is primarily aimed at women - but the members know: men also play an important part in overcoming inequalities and prejudices. In her husband, Julia has found a strong partner who, like her, works full time but takes the children out of the house in the mornings or currently looks after them at home while she works. "It is just as unfair to fathers if it is automatically assumed that the child is missing something just because the mother does not stay at home," Julia explains. "Only together will we be able to continue to advance equality."This includes both men and women having a real choice in deciding who takes what share in childcare and household tasks.

There is still a long way to go before this happens, and the unequal treatment of men and women in everyday working life must be continuously addressed. ALICE offers Roche female employees information, support and assistance through the network.

Bis dahin ist es noch ein weiter Weg, auf dem kontinuierlich die ungleiche Behandlung von Männern und Frauen im Arbeitsalltag thematisiert und gemeinsam nach Lösungen gesucht werden muss. ALICE möchte hierfür Roche Mitarbeiterinnen Informationen sowie Rückhalt und Unterstützung durch das Netzwerk bieten.

Tags: Germany, Mannheim, Marketing & Communications, Career Blog